Thursday, 3 December 2009

Nothing says Christmas more than putting a tea towel on a child's head

Those original thinkers at the Mail have come up with yet another pointless attack on the BBC:

Not sure about the 'the' in the headline - surely it works better without it?

But anyway, is the Mail really trying to claim the BBC don't like the word 'Nativity'? Really?

Because last Friday a film was released in cinemas nationwide called Nativity! and it was co-produced by, errr, BBC Films.

Yes. They must absolutely hate the word to produce a film with that as the title.

As for the substance of the article - if you can describe it as substance - it is mainly an excuse for journalist Laura Kemp to have a go at CBeebies for not forcing programmes about the Nativity down the throats of their audience of under-6s.

Back in June, in the Mail, Kemp wrote about how awful CBeebies was, so it's hard to know why she cares what they put out anyway.

But her argument doesn't even stand up because she explains there is a Nativity programme on after all. It even has the 'dirty' word in the title:

the sole programme completely dedicated to the birth of Christ, the Tikkabilla Nativity, will be broadcast on Christmas Day.

So a programme 'dedicated' to the birth of Christ goes out on Christmas Day. And this isn't good enough? Apparently not:

toddlers will be too busy opening parcels and spending precious time with family to watch TV.

Elsewhere in the article she attacks:

today’s blatant consumerism

and yet thinks her two year old is going to be too busy opening all his presents to watch the programme about why he has those presents. Hmm.

In any case, most kids learn about the Nativity as soon as they spend a Christmas in school. And if she's really bothered about him learning about the birth of Christ, perhaps she should teach him herself rather than sticking him in front of the TV and hoping that'll do the job for her.

She admits to having tried:

My attempts so far have stretched to My First Nativity Book at bedtime, a shepherd-like tea towel on his head which he thought was a game of ‘boo!’, a trip to church, and a glue-and-glitter cardboard star of Bethlehem.

But none of those was as engaging as a well-made and informative programme would be to a young mind.

So Tikkabilla Nativity on Christmas Day isn't good enough but sticking a tea-towel on the head of a two-year old is?

Perhaps she should stop trying to force religion down his throat. But it's more than likely, he's just too young to care.

She goes on:

Aside from Tikkabilla, the BBC has proudly informed me that one part of one episode of a programme called the Green Balloon Club will feature the Nativity.

Right. So that's now two programmes that will feature the Nativity. And a feature film, called Nativity! What about their website:

The BBC may claim its website for youngsters will contain references to the Nativity, but how many tots do you know who can log on to the internet, resist the temptation to fiddle with the keyboard and sit still for long enough to take it in?

A quick look at the CBeebies website reveals they have a Finger Puppet Nativity which gives instructions for kids and parents to make a Nativity scene for themselves.

So the BBC hate the Nativity so much they are encouraging kids to make their own stable scene.

Of course, this isn't about the Nativity per se, but another attack on the BBC for hating Christians. That's despite the six-part History of Christianity that Auntie is currently showing. Kemp rambles on about winterval lights and political correctness gone mad and Christians being under siege from other religions and all the usual Mail myths.

She says:

I’m not saying the BBC should bash its young viewers over the head with a Bible; however, there is room in the scheduling, beyond its current tokenistic effort, to explain the inherent connection between Christmas and Christianity.

No, she's saying the BBC should bash everyone over the head with a Bible.

And on her second point - surely putting out a Nativity programme on Christmas Day, is the perfect way to make the connection 'between Christmas and Christianity'?

(Hat-tip to Jim Hawkins)


  1. Even as an ardent and some say rabid atheist, I have found'The history of Christianity interesting and very informative. As for nativity - it is usually pretty well covered everywhere, and asI have said in the past, if BBC is so wretched and bad, why does The Mail giveaway DVDs usually from the BBC stable?

    It would seem that Ms Kemp is truly the one who is bonkers. Leave her to SKY or ITV for Christmas, I am sure she will enjoy its trivial banality thoroughly enjoyable.

  2. "My attempts so far have stretched to My First Nativity Book at bedtime, a shepherd-like tea towel on his head which he thought was a game of ‘boo!’, a trip to church, and a glue-and-glitter cardboard star of Bethlehem.

    But none of those was as engaging as a well-made and informative programme would be to a young mind."

    So the BBC are bad because they're not bridging the gaps in your shitty parenting skills? Are you sure you want to admit that in a national newspaper? Bloody hell, it's not that difficult to teach children about Christmas, is it? There are some things TV does much better than most parents could (I'd much rather help my daughter learn about wildlife by showing her CBBC's awesome Deadly 60 than by trying to bring home a leopard, for example). But complaining that the BBC are (*ahem*) leaving it up to you to teach the Nativity? Maybe you could try spicing up your delivery a bit?

    "Leave her to SKY or ITV for Christmas"

    Definitely. If she finds the BBC so lacking in Nativity celebrations, maybe she could point her child towards the shows on offer on Sky's children's channels. I'm sure there'll be plenty to 'explain the inherent connection between Christmas and Christianity' in one of Nickelodeon's Hannah Montana marathons or Disney Cinemagic's endless repeats of 'Mulan 2'.

  3. The most sensible Blog on the Internet! Laura Kemp should stop blaming her bad parenting on others. If she is a true Christian, then surely her son would be learning about Mary, Joseph and Jesus at Church!!

  4. Exasperating. It's all I can say really; if I say more, by the end of the sentence I'll be reaching for the long range rifle and a map to the Mail offices.


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